The Pacific Northwest is known for its stunning landscapes and natural beauty. Mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, the area has it all, and its residents really embrace the outdoors. Those who live in Portland have the special ability to drive in any direction and arrive at a scenic destination. That doesn’t mean you have to leave the city to get a dose of nature, however. Placed throughout the entire city are gorgeous parks and green spaces to enjoy. So many, in fact, that we couldn’t list them all here. Read on for some Portland botanical gardens that you can’t miss.
Leach Botanical Garden
Located in outer southwest Portland, the Leach Botanical Garden was established in 1931 by botanist Lilla Leach, originally as landscaping for her private home. It was later donated to the city.
This lush garden is now home to more than 2,000 species of native and non-native plants, including medicinal herbs, wildflowers, firs, and more than 125 species of ferns. It covers 16 acres and is divided by Johnson Creek. It’s a beautiful place to wander around, with a self-guided tour winding through the park and many species labeled.
International Rose Test Garden
Portland is affectionately called “The City of Roses” because the climate is ideal for roses to thrive. The International Rose Test Garden is the oldest official continuously operating public test garden for roses in the United States, and is home to more than 10,000 roses!
The garden was approved in 1917 and was conceptualized as a haven for hybrid roses grown in Europe during World War I, and it’s dedicated to exceptional roses. The garden is located in Washington Park and has a spectacular view of Mt Hood while overlooking the Willamette River and downtown Portland.
Portland’s Japanese Garden
This Portland botanical garden was once dubbed – by the former Ambassador of Japan to the United States – “the most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden in the world outside of Japan”.
The garden was designed in 1963 and contains 8 different garden styles held within 12 acres of Washington Park. In the garden, you can experience an authentic Japanese Tea House, small paths through Japanese foliage, and even streams and ponds. The garden was built upon the idea that the experience of peace can contribute to lasting peace in the world, and it’s a special place to connect both with nature and the self through these tranquil surroundings.
This park is open 365 days a year and that’s a good thing because you’ll need more than a day to explore all it has to offer. Hoyt Arboretum was founded in 1928 to conserve endangered species of plants and today, they are still doing amazing protection work. You’ll find 2,300 species of plants, trees, and shrubs from six continents around the world, including at least 63 species that are considered endangered or globally vulnerable.
The park sits on 190 acres and separates downtown Portland from the westside, and includes 12 miles of hiking trails. Hoyt Arboretum is dedicated to education, research, and conservation, as well as bringing a beautiful and peaceful place to connect with nature in Portland.
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